RESERVE LOWERED - 1998 Lancia Delta HPE HF Turbo LHD

Highlights


• Less than 75,000 miles on the odometer
• Low ownership - only two UK keepers
• Proven mechanical health - over 3,000km covered in current ownership this year!

The Background


The successor to the iconic first-generation Lancia Delta, the second-generation car (Tipo 836) was introduced in 1993 and produced until 1999, though enthusiasts have largely forgotten this ‘hot’ Italian hatchback, which is a shame, especially in high-performance HF/HPE form.

Based upon the Fiat Tipo of the same era, all Deltas were front-wheel-drive only, and engines ranged from the 1.6-litre inline four with 56 bhp to the higher-performance 2.0-litre Fiat-sourced turbocharged inline-four twin-cam engine, which was good for 183bhp. 

Arguably, the three-door HPE HF model is the most desirable from an enthusiast standpoint. Launched in 1995, the HPE body shell featured an entirely re-designed side profile and sections, flared arches, HF-derived front bumper, model-specific side skirts, additional air intakes for the HF version and a body-coloured front grille.

The History


Registered in 1998 during the last full year of Nuova Delta production, this striking yellow HPE HF Turbo is an example of the most coveted MK2 Delta variant, finished in arguably the best factory colour for the car. This later example also benefits from a slightly higher power output (193 bhp) and a more aggressive body kit, with ‘evo’ style alloy wheels, evoking plenty of iconic imagery of the original Delta being thrown around all manner of rally stages.

Initially delivered to Italy, the car was then imported into the UK, registered over here on the R plate you see before you, before being re-exported (but not registered) to Italy a number of years later. 

Our vendor - only the second registered UK keeper - purchased the car (whilst it was still in Italy) during April 2021, and proceeded to drive the car over 3,000km back to the UK, including a stint to the well-known Brooklands Auto Italia show, where we’re told the car was well received.

During the vehicle’s previous spell in the UK during 2019 (in the hands of the previous owner) a full service was carried out, along with a set of Bridgestone Potenza tyres being fitted, there is an invoice for this pictured which is with the registration paperwork in the glovebox. However the rest of the car invoices were lost in shipping.

Once back in the UK and in the care of the current owner, the car was one again serviced and fitted with a set of new rear brake pads, along with passing its MOT exam on the first attempt - always a good sign!

Having repatriated the car and shown it off, our vendor daily drove the car for a number of months, along with showing it off on their YouTube channel, before it was decided that their car collection required downsizing, and the Delta was put into dry storage.

The Paperwork


Included with the car is the UK V5, registration documents, and the original handbook pack. 

There is also some miscellaneous documentation, though the vast majority of the invoices and other history was misplaced during the car’s most recent stint in Italy, meaning only the items in the car’s glove box at the time of sale made it back to the UK in one piece.

The Interior


Original and free of any offending modifications or upgrades, the cabin of this Lancia harks back to the simple days of 90’s performance, with plenty of gauges and instruments for monitoring the car’s health, along with some body-coloured detailing to break up the sea of black plastic and suede. 

Naturally, there is some wear-and-tear visible to high-traffic areas such as the seats, door cards, inner door sills and other touch points and soft-touch surfaces, though this wear is commensurate with the vehicle’s age and mileage.

Up above, the headliner - though original - has sagged, and a previous owner has ‘rectified’ this by placing colour-coded pins into the material to hold it up. As our vendor states, at least they match the car! Whilst not a major issue, this shouldn’t prove too much of a problem for an experienced automotive trim shop to rectify, should the next owner wish to do so. 

As far as our vendor can tell, there are no faults with any of the interior electrical systems or switchgear, though there is currently no stereo fitted to the car.

The Exterior


Finished in yellow and wearing its model-specific body kit and Evo wheels, the lineage between this car and the original Delta is clear to see, which makes you wonder why these cars are often overlooked by UK enthusiasts. 

Presenting in good condition overall for its age, there are a few areas of wear-and-tear visible on the bodywork, such as a crack to the passenger side mirror, some crazing on both the front and rear bumpers, marks on the passenger side B pillar, and other typical wear (such as light scratches and stone chips) visible across the vehicle.

The Evo alloy wheels are all wrapped in matching Bridgestone rubber with plenty of life left, though no doubt a fastidious owner would have the alloys refurbished down the line, as there are a few marks and some kerb rash to be seen. 

The Mechanicals


Having proven itself to be mechanically excellent on the journey home from Italy, the running gear, transmission and engine of this Delta MK2 are in fantastic condition, with the vendor stating the chassis in particular is in very good condition and “rust free.”

The most recent MOT - dated 04 October 2021 - shows a pass on the first attempt, with advisory items for a deteriorated nearside front suspension arm ball joint dust cover, discoloured front headlamps and wear to the rear brake pads, though the latter of these advisory items was rectified shortly after the exam. 

Our vendor reports that the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine pulls well and delivers plenty of poke, and that the car is ready for the next owner to simply jump in, turn the key and enjoy.

The Appeal


Somewhat of a rarity here in the UK, the second-generation Lancia Delta is somewhat of a mystery to UK based enthusiasts, making this an ‘under the radar’ hot hatch, with plentiful performance and rarity on offer, and admiring glances from other enthusiasts that are ‘in the know’ when it comes to these 90’s performance hatches. 

Offered in rude mechanical health and presenting in good condition overall, yet still leaving room for fettling and aesthetic improvement should the next owner wish to do so, this HPE HF Delta Turbo would make an excellent daily driver or light project for any enthusiast, Italian car collector or someone simply looking for an unusual and engaging hatchback. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1998
  • Make Lancia
  • Model Delta HPE HF Turbo
  • Colour Yellow
  • Odometer 119,561 Kilometers
  • Engine size 1995
  • Town Chippenham
  • Location Wiltshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
11 bids from 4 bidders
  • ma•••• £8,651 16/12/21
  • eb•••• £8,500 14/12/21
  • ma•••• £8,051 14/12/21
  • eb•••• £7,950 14/12/21
  • ma•••• £7,550 14/12/21
  • Sa•••• £7,100 10/12/21
  • Sa•••• £6,050 10/12/21
  • Sa•••• £5,550 10/12/21
  • Sa•••• £5,050 10/12/21
  • ho•••• £1,000 09/12/21

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